Saturday, 16 April 2011

Multi vocality

As individuals we take on many roles, employee, friend, mother, father etc etc. During the narrative interview process those roles are critical to the story being told. One 'voice' may be in conflict with another or may confirm and validate. Acknowledging those different voices is crucial to understand both the lived story and the told story. Why does one person thread their personal life in with their career and another not mention it? The narrative interview enables these voices to be heard should the participant wish it to be so. As a researcher paying attention to the many voices is helping me to understand the threads and themes within the stories.

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Presenting early research findings

On Friday I presented at the Positive Choices national conference which is aimed at learning disability nursing students. I was asked to give an 'uplifting' presentation linking history to current position of learning disability nursing. I based the presentation around the themes of becoming a learning disability nurse, role diversity, identity & change. Some of the initial findings were presented using vignettes of 6 participants and quotes. The quotes were presented as audio files with the quotes being read out by helpful 'friends' who were not participants in the research. This just added 'a little something extra' to the presentation. The paper was very well received and in the audience were leads from the Royal College of Nursing and Editors for national journals, who then asked me to engage with national research and write a paper. During coffee I discussed the research with a number of people who felt they shared many of the experiences within the short presentation and I feel this is something that will develop further throughout the thesis - the shared story as well as the individual.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Annual review

Successfully negotiated this years annual review as I summarised 12 months of work. Data collection completed, thematic analysis started and two conference papers in. It felt good to review the years work as time passes so quickly and when you are so embedded in what you are doing it is useful to 'stand back' and see it as someone else may do. My goal of writing my first draft of my thesis in this year ahead was described as ambitious but I would rather work towards a goal and allow for a little slippage as if I set goals too far in the future I can lack motivation in the move towards those goals. So motivated and spurred on by the review this year I am full steam ahead with the analysis. Although trying to embed audio into my conference presentation has seemed more of a challenge these past few days.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Catching up: Where am I now?

One of a number of posts and then I am really really going to try and keep up regularly with my blog!

SO where am I now ?

Well data transcription took much longer than I had expected but I had been lucky to be able to have a transcriber. Whilst the interviews were being transcribed I listened to them - on my iPod, PC and anywhere that would play the audio files. I felt closer to who the people I had interviewed were. During this time too I also wrote up my field notes. These contained my 'first impressions' and notes about both verbal and non verbal communication during the interviews.

Data analysis began for me as soon as I heard the 'story' of each participant for the first time. identifying the 'themes' for each individual and accepting their narrative as a holistic account without the additions of other participants stories. This expanded as I was able to listen and re listen to the narratives of each participant.

Beyond this the transcriptions were reviewed with specific questions in mind around each theme (Described in a later blog). Using thematic analysis posed some challenges for me around maintaining the person as a whole rather than fragmenting them into a series of quotes. The use of 6 in depth 'cases' has helped me to maintain that 'focus on the whole' person. The other 14 peoples experiences are drawn in as appropriate.

Thematic analysis

A number of themes have been extracted from the data. The key ones picked out for the study are:

  • Becoming a learning disability nurse

  • Role Diversity

  • Identity

  • change
Within the first theme of 'becoming a learning disability nurse there were some key points and questions for me to use to scrutinise the data. Initially there were many questions but in phase two these were reduced further Phase 1

1) Influences & choices

Influencing factors in thinking about becoming a nurse – people – parents/friends/girlfriends/boyfriends. Personality styles? – saw self as a ‘carer’. Wanted to ‘make a difference’. Deliberate or non deliberate decision to ‘choose’ LD nursing. What people wanted to be prior to this (if anything). At what point did they decide to apply to LD nursing? Educational background – failed A levels etc

2) Applying inc. Timing – life events etc

Timing – personal - At what age did they apply and what were the life events surrounding this. Ie needing to leave home/unemployment)

Timing – policy – where were we at in terms of policy? Were people making direct applications to hospitals or through an education establishment.?

3) Knowledge and experience of LD

Did an pre application experience of working with people with learning disabilities (pwld) influence the decision to apply. (In the main – yes) How do people describe this experience? Not just pwld but the staff who work with them as influencing too. The notion of ‘injustice’ and wanting to ‘make a difference’

4) Experiences during training

Type of training – joint training with mental health/ starting with another branch of nursing ie adult/ changing branches part way through a course (indecision – what led to this?) Both positive and negative experiences during training and the shaping of the nurse. Resilience

Phase 2

The theme was further reduced into two key categories:

  • Influencing factors - The influence of people, timing and experience

  • Experiences during training - types of training, decisions/indecision, resilience and change

The next steps 20 participants with interviews of on average 90 minutes generates a large data set and in order to undertake in depth analysis I am selecting 6 particpants as 'cases' to scrutinise in depth and the remaining 14 participant's experienceswill be drawn in to illustrate appropriate concepts and issues. Pen pictures or vignettes have been written for all participants to give the reader a feel for the careers of those involved.